‘A clarion call to sound the alarm’ on anti-Semitism
Questions for… Gloria Greenfield
Filmmaker Gloria Greenfield said her hope is that viewers of her film “will have their individual and collective consciousness raised.”
Photo by Susan Wilson
May 2, 2012
On Thursday, May 10, Gloria Greenfield’s documentary Unmasked Judeophobia: The Threat to Civilization will have its New Jersey premiere at the Digiplex Rialto Theater in Westfield, at an event presented by the Israel Support Committee of Central New Jersey and cosponsored by the Community Relations Committee of MetroWest and Central NJ.
The feature-length documentary includes interviews with 70 leading commentators, among them former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, Alan Dershowitz, Natan Sharansky, and Elie Wiesel. Greenfield, whose first documentary was The Case for Israel, will be there to discuss the movie with the audience after the screening.
In addition to filmmaking, Greenfield is director of strategic marketing and planning at Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and a former strategy manager for the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education. She is president at Doc Emet Productions, which produced Unmasked.
She answered some e-mailed questions from NJ Jewish News.
NJJN: Was there a specific event that made you decide to make Unmasked Judeophobia?
Greenfield: In May of 2009, Canadian Member of Parliament Irwin Cotler and I were at the Philadelphia premiere of Doc Emet Productions’ first documentary film, The Case for Israel: Democracy’s Outpost, when Irwin leaned over and whispered to me that the next film should be about anti-Semitism. I filed his suggestion away in my mind.
Several months later, I viewed the very offensive documentary Defamation that was being screened at film festivals around the world, which presented anti-Semitism as the invention of Jewish leaders, organizations, and the Jewish state for the purposes of raising money and manipulation. Defamation itself was an indication of the pervasive manipulation of reality that was being used by enemies of the Jewish people, and it became clear to me that Irwin Cotler was right about how important it was to move forward on Unmasked as quickly as possible.
NJJN: What do you see as the purpose of Unmasked?
Greenfield: This film is meant as a clarion call, as a tek’ia gedola blast, to sound the alarm, to assemble all good people to action. We live in historic times, a time of inversion, and a time when state-sanctioned calls for killing Jews and wiping the Jewish state off the map is regarded as unremarkable; when anti-Semites at anti-Israel demonstrations on the streets of North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa can chant, “Send the Jews back to the ovens” and “Hitler was right” without repercussion. My hope is that viewers will have their individual and collective consciousness raised. The lights must get turned on. It is imperative for good, decent people to recognize and acknowledge what is happening. Only then can action effect change.
NJJN: Your material is terrifying. Do you ever want to duck your head into the sand?
Greenfield: From my perspective, it is denial and apathy that should create the greatest amount of anxiety and fear. To appreciate the outcome of such denial and apathy, one only has to look back at the 1930s and 1940s. Helping to educate people about this growing threat is what helps me cope with the reality we are facing.
NJJN: What kind of responses have you had?
Greenfield: The film has received very positive responses from diverse audiences. It recently won the Platinum Remi Award for Political/International Documentary at the Worldfest Houston International Film Festival, which is one of the oldest and largest film and video competitions in the world.
If you go
What: Unmasked Judeophobia: The Threat to Civilization
Who: Filmmaker Gloria Greenfield
When: Tuesday, May 10, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Digiplex Rialto Theater, Westfield
Tickets: $8 in advance; $10 at the door; $18 for Supporters, with reserved seating; $36 for Patrons, with pre-screening coffee and chat with the director
Payment: Send checks to the Israel Support Committee, 18 Shalom Way, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076.
Contact: Susan Knopf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-604-1444
DVDs will be available for sale for $15 at the screening. Event proceeds will benefit the Israel Support Committee’s Sing Out for Israel Music Video Competition, a challenge to the public to produce a brief video making the case for Israel.